There’s nothing much worse than nursing home abuse. The people we’ve loved for years and have given us just as much love, or being forced to live a miserable existence due to uncaring, cruel, or plain vicious employees of nursing facilities. It happens far too often, and the attorneys with Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh can’t stand it.
If you have any reason to believe your elderly loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home, please get in touch with our firm as soon as you possibly can. We’ll investigate the situation, getting to the bottom of what’s happening. Once we have all the facts and we know who’s responsible, we’ll go after them with every bit of skill we have. Our team will do everything possible to make sure they’re held accountable and forced to pay dearly.
The following are a few indications that your loved one might be suffering from nursing home abuse. If any of them apply, contact us online or give us a call at (561) 295-5825 for more information on how we may be able to help.
Unexplained Broken Bones, Sprains, Dislocations
An elderly person is much more prone to suffering severe injuries, of course. They can slip and fall much easier than a younger person because they don’t have the reflexes to either brace themselves properly or the strength to catch themselves before they hit the ground. In many instances, this happens because no staff member is making sure they can safely get from their bed to the bathroom and back, or they’re wandering through the hall with no supervision.
If your loved one is able to talk, find out why they were hurt. If they’re in immediate danger, call 911 so they can get to a medical facility. Take them yourself if you can.
Talk to nursing home staff or administrators and demand to know what happened. If you’re not satisfied with the answer – or they don’t give you an answer at all – get in touch with a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as you can to determine your next steps.
Bruising and Scars
These may not seem to be as serious as the injuries mentioned above, but they can still be indications of neglect or abuse. At the same time, however, it will be important that you don’t jump to conclusions. Older people are much more susceptible to bruising because of medications that can thin the blood as well as their skin simply not being as strong as it used to be.
But bruising can also occur due to abuse or neglect. If the bruises are large, they reoccur in the same location, or they have an unusual shape, that could mean abuse is occurring.
Scarring is another red flag. Even though the skin might also be more prone to cuts if you keep seeing them, that will be a cause for alarm.
Not Taking Medications as Prescribed
If a nursing home employee fails to administer the medications a resident needs, that’s yet another indication of abuse. Neglect can be just as harmful as physical abuse in certain instances.
The challenge with proving medication neglect is that some of the symptoms can be confused with other health issues. If a resident is having issues with memory, for example, it might be assumed that they’ve developed Alzheimer’s.
But if your loved one’s behavior has changed dramatically, that could be an indication they’re not receiving their medication. If your loved one has an outside doctor, schedule an appointment so you can get an of what’s going on.
Not Willing to Talk About Injuries
When an elderly person is being abused, they might not want to say anything. They could be embarrassed by what’s happening since they’re powerless to stop it. They could be so angry that they would just rather not talk about it. In this type of situation, you may need to take the initiative. If you feel your loved one’s life is in danger, call 911 immediately. If not, this is another instance where you should demand answers from nursing home personnel.
Fearing Certain Staff Members
There’s another reason the victim of abuse won’t want to talk – they’re simply afraid of retaliation from their nurses or other supposed “caregivers.” They’re worried the abuser is somewhere nearby and can hear what they’re saying. They’re afraid that the next time they’re alone with the person – whether in the room, by some stairs, or anywhere else – the next injury will be even worse.
New or Worsened Depression and/or Anxiety
Being in a nursing home is obviously not a pleasant situation for many residents. They’d rather be just about anywhere else. So, if your family member is feeling down, unfortunately, that’s to be expected in a lot of instances.
However, if their depression and/or anxiety seems to be worse than normal, or this is the first time they’re exhibiting this kind of behavior, that could mean emotional abuse is taking place.
Caregivers Refuse to Let You be Alone with Loved One
This is another major red flag. Nursing home staff members will often go to great lengths to protect themselves from accusations of abuse. They may try to make it as difficult as possible for you to have a private conversation. Get in touch with an attorney if this is happening.
How to Talk to Your Elderly Loved One About Abuse
If you simply can’t get any information from your loved one, try being as direct as you can. Ask them straight out if something is wrong. Take them out of the facility and have the talk in your car, or take them to lunch. As long as they feel they’re in a safe place, they may be more forthcoming.
Contact KMW if Your Loved One is Suffering from Nursing Home Abuse
The personal injury attorneys with Keller Melchiorre & Walsh are standing by if you want to discuss any potential nursing home abuse suspicions you may have. Call (561) 295-5825 or use our online form to schedule a free review of your case.